The ultimate New Year gift guide

Thoughtful and quirky gifts and experiences that support small, sustainable businesses

Ultimate new year gift guide supporting small sustainable businesses

With the end of the year fast approaching, it’s time to start planning your Christmas and New Year gifts! Be it for Secret Santa at work, stocking stuffers for family, or thoughtful gifts for close friends, choosing the right gift makes all the difference. And if you’re like me, worried about stepping outdoors due to a pesky new virus variant, why not try shopping from the comfort of your home?

You don’t have to buy boring, unimaginative gifts either. Instead, I’ve put together some thoughtful, quirky, whimsical gift ideas, all of which also support small, sustainable businesses. In my book, that’s always a win!


So here’s a round-up of some fun, quirky, thoughtful gift ideas for a loved one — or yourself — sourced from small businesses that I love. {And yes, that means I have bought from these businesses myself!}

The ultimate New Year gift guide: Planners and Journals

As the year winds down to an end, all eyes turn to planning for the next year. And for planner addicts, that means just one thing: choosing a sparkly new planner and swooning over all the bells and whistles that different planners offer.

Alicia Souza’s Ultimate Planner is an instant hit with planner addicts. In the box, you’ll find the 2022 planner, a holographic sticker book, and an adorable pocket planner. Featuring the Bangalore-based illustrator’s whimsical designs, the planner includes habit trackers, an annual budget planning spread, a spread to map out your annual goals, weekly planner pages, and more!

alicia souza ultimate planner 2022

You may also like Alicia’s adorable Endearing India desk calendar.

Another popular choice is The Ink Bucket planner. I love the fact that it’s undated, which means if you fall off the planning wagon one year, the planner isn’t a waste. It can easily be used next year!

InkBucket undated planner

Within these pages, you’ll find a vision board page, a yearly goals page, a yearly plans page, monthly appointments, daily and weekly pages, monthly reflections, 3 sheets of stickers, and more!

For those who would rather DIY their own bullet journals, I cannot recommend Menorah’s A5 dot grid premium notebook highly enough. The pages lie flat and the paper takes very well to fountain pens with minimal bleeding. This Tamil Nadu-based, family-owned maker of beautiful, artisan-crafted journals, notebooks, and artist books takes pride in their stationary, and it shows!

Planners and sketchbooks by Menorah

Menorah also has a beautiful range of artist books, which would make the perfect gift for your artistically inclined friends. The 180 gsm artist sketch book is excellent for doodlers, zentanglers, and mixed media artists. For watercolor artists, the 300 GSM cotton watercolor paper sketchbook will make the perfect gift!

Check out their entire range here — I may already have added a few new notebooks into my Christmas goodie bag!

The ultimate New Year gift guide: Home decor


Nothing beats the festive feeling that a beautifully flickering candle creates. Why not gift your candle crazy friends some lovely fragrant soy wax candles by Sugandhee candles? One of the things I love about these candles is that every order comes with a packet of seeds. Once you’ve burnt a candle, turn the glass jar into a planter! Isn’t that a brilliant way to use candles more sustainably? Take a look at Sugandhee’s website to see her range of candles {the Sandalwood and Rose are my favorites}, but it may be much easier to order directly through her via Instagram DM.

Poetry lovers will fall in love with the Sylvia Plath lamp by Kavi – The Poetry-Art Project, an eco-friendly label that fuses poetry and art with sustainable home decor products.

ultimate new year gift guide sylvia plath lamp

These square cork coasters are sure to be a hit with your literary minded friends, and these wooden coasters featuring famous female artists make for an empowering gift.

quirky gifts quote coasters

If your friends swear by sustainability, they’re bound to be delighted with Kavi – The Poetry-Art Project’s beautiful Recycled Glass Bottle Serving Trays Set, which is made of recycled bottles.

sustainable gift recycled glass serving tray

Their recycled glass bottle tealight holders and hanging planters make for quirky yet functional gifts.

new year gift guide hanging planter
hanging recycled glass planter

If you’re looking for some truly whimsical home decor, I cannot recommend The Wishing Chair highly enough! This women-led, homegrown brand celebrates creativity, femininity and handcrafted artisanship. And browsing through their brick-and-mortar store is an absolute delight!

Though they have a limited physical store footprint, all of their products are available on their website.


if you don’t have you’re looking for some truly whimsical home decor, this is THE place to shop. They have some beautiful curated Christmas boxes – Take a look at the whimsical A Cup of Cheer

new year gift box

and darling The Good Stuff gift box.

christmas gift box

They also have a whole range of earrings and accessories, quirky wall decor, and more!

The ultimate New Year gift guide: Unique boxes, original art and curated experiences

If you’re looking for something delightfully different, take a look at the one-of-a-kind handcrafted wooden boxes, cigar boxes (made to order), and custom decor items offered by Beyond Boxes. Take a look at some of his work on his website and connect with him directly on Instagram.

unique boxes

And if you’re looking for some soul-stirring original artwork, head over to my shop and take a look around at the paintings I have on offer. If you’d like smaller, postcard sized art to adorn your desk, check out the 100 days of soul fueled abstracts hashtag on Instagram. Many of those paintings are still available for purchase!

If you’d rather gift experiences, why not gift your creatively inclined friends a woodworking class? Abid is India’s first DIY woodworking teacher, and offers fun make and take classes, spoon and bowl carving classes, and more in-depth woodworking workshops. Check them out here.

I hope you found something interesting in this round-up of ultimate New Year gift guide! When you support small, sustainable businesses, you’re putting money directly in the hands of artists and makers, and helping them to bring their beautiful creations and vision to life.

pain palette

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Weekly notes from an artist’s studio, including pages from my mixed media art journal, works in progress, notes on the creative process, and other ideas that capture my interest, along with regular discussion threads to chat about art.

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Posted in Favorite things.

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


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